By Sheena Perron
The last several weeks have brought unexpected changes to many of our lives. We have seen changes in church worship, temple attendance, school, work, the list goes on and on. It is during times like these when feelings of fear, anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, and uncertainty take over.
I would be lying if I told you that I have not been consumed by recent events. I find myself mindlessly scrolling through social media and websites only to feed the feelings of fear and anxiety more. I find myself listening to the voices of the world rather than the one voice that has promised me peace and comfort. It can be difficult to tune out the voices of the world in order to hear the voice of the Lord more clearly, but it is possible.
How Do You Hear Him?
We recently received an invitation from our beloved prophet, President Nelson, to ponder how we hear Him. He encouraged us to think deeply and often about this question and to take steps to hear him better and more often.
President Nelson’s message and invitation to #HearHim couldn’t have come at a better time. How comforting it is to know that we do not have to navigate through this life alone. As President Nelson mentioned, “Our Father loves us...He pleads with us to listen to the voice of Jesus Christ.”
As mentioned before, we live in a world filled with distractions, so what can we do to #HearHim and why is it important? Today I would like to share three ways you can #HearHim.
1. #HearHim Through Prayer
From a young age, we learn that our Heavenly Father desires for us to communicate with Him through prayer. As we strive to make prayer an important part of our life, we will come to know and understand Him and will draw nearer to Him.
When I teach children about prayer, I like to compare prayer to talking to a friend. I ask them to think of their best friend or a parent/family member. I then ask questions like: Do you talk to them every day? What if you only said Hello? What if you only asked them for things? Do you give them your undivided attention when you talk with them? Do you take the time to listen to what they have to say? Do you ever go several days without talking to them?
As adults, we too can use this simple comparison to help us know what we can do to make our prayers more meaningful. Using this comparison can also help us evaluate our relationship with Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ. Some questions you could ask yourself could include: When was the last time you sincerely prayed to Heavenly Father? Do you talk to Him every day? Do you listen? Do you go days, weeks, or months without talking to Him?
2. #HearHim Through Scripture Study
Richard G. Scott said, “We talk to God through prayer. He most often communicates back to us through His written word. To know what the voice of the Divine sounds, and feels like, read His words, study the scriptures, and ponder them” (Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority; October 2014).
Do you take time to immerse yourself in His words? Too often we find ourselves immersed in the words and voices of the world. We must remember to take time to “feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do” (2 Nephi 32:3).
Here a few ways you can improve your scripture study:
Tools: I love using the seminary and institute manuals as I study. Not only do they provide valuable insights to the scriptures I study, but they also share uplifting quotes from church leaders, questions to ponder, and assignments to help deepen understanding and apply the principles of the scriptures to my life. Other tools I use include footnotes, Bible Dictionary, and the standard dictionary. I enjoy looking up the meaning of words I find in the scriptures.
Journal: Have a place to record your thoughts, impressions, and insights from your studies. Your journal can include written notes in a notebook or typed notes on your computer or phone. I love being able to look back and read notes, impressions, and quotes that I recorded.
Ask: As you study, look for teaching moments. Ask questions like: “Why was this included in the scriptures?” “What can I learn from this?” “How can I apply this to my life?”
Share: Share what you have learned with others. I love sharing what I have studied, and insights I have found, with my family, spouse, friends, and ward members. It is easy to share with those we love, but do you ever share with those not of our faith? Each of us has the ability to share the light of the gospel with people all over the world through social media.
Pray: Prayer must be a part of our scripture study if we are to understand the things of God. Howard W. Hunter said, “There is nothing more helpful than prayer to open our understanding of the scriptures. Through prayer, we can attune our minds to seek the answers to our searchings. The Lord said: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you’ (Luke 11:9)(Reading the Scriptures, Oct. 1979).
As we pray, study the scriptures, and keep the commandments we will come to recognize the voice of the Lord as He speaks to us.
3. #HearHim in Quiet Moments
I have recently realized the importance of quiet moments and stillness. It is in these moments of silence that I hear His voice. These moments have become precious to me because it is during this time that I truly feel my Savior’s love and receive impressions and promptings.
Take some time this week to think of the quiet moments in your life. During these moments do you listen for impressions and promptings? Do you set aside time during the day to sit quietly and ponder? When was the last time you set aside time to sit with no other distractions? Do you record impressions and promptings that you receive?
In a devotional to the young adults, M. Russell Ballard shared this, “As our world gets brighter, louder and busier, we have a greater challenge feeling the Spirit in our lives. If your life is void of quiet time, would you begin tonight to seek for some?” (Be Still, and Know That I am God, May 2013).
I hope that you will take some time over the next few weeks, as we find ourselves blessed with more time, to accept the invitation President Nelson extended and ponder what you can do to #hearhim more clearly and more often in your life and why it is important for us to hear him.
How do you hear Him?
Sheena Perron is the founder of Little LDS Ideas and Seek Christ Daily. Her mission is to help others become seekers of Christ through uplifting online content and events. She has been featured in the Ensign, Deseret News, and KSL Radio. Follow Sheena Perron on Instagram and Facebook